Making Waves

23 April 2009 | News story

Earlier this month, the Inter-American Development Bank hosted the largest DCMC meeting to date, with over 85 participants from numerous organizations including NOAA, EPA, USAID, GEF, World Bank, US State Department, UNEP, TNC, CI, WWF, Oceana, the list goes on. The subject that generated so much interest? Oceans and climate change.

IUCN US took this opportunity to present a working document that aims to highlight the impacts of climate change on the ocean, the consequences for marine ecosystems, and the vulnerable people that could be affected by these changes.

“The purpose of this project is to fill a gap in climate change discussions,” explains Thomas Laughlin, Deputy Head of IUCN’s Global Marine Program and lead on this initiative. “We must consider ocean issues in terms of climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives.”

The publication will be launched in time for Copenhagen at the end of this year and IUCN hopes to produce a final product that will benefit a wide audience from the general public to scientific advisors, regional and national climate players.

The working document will be reviewed following external comments generated through the meeting and potential project partners will be identified. A final draft of the document will be circulated to the DCMC in September 2009, at which time, members and partners can make the decision to endorse the publication. For more information please contact Dorothée Herr or visit the DCMC website.

Three short talks on climate-related ocean issues followed IUCN’s presentation. Bill Eichbaum (WWF, Vice President for Arctic and Marine Policy) presented ‘An Arctic perspective on the impacts of global climate change,’ Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb (Oceana, Science Fellow) presented ‘Acid Test – Can we save our oceans from CO2?;’ and Giuseppe Di Carlo (Conservation International, Manager Marine Climate Change) summarized CI’s work, ‘Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of Biodiversity and Associated Human Well-being in the Galapagos Island.’